The God Who Waits

“I slept early last night 8:30 to be exact. I woke up around 5AM, did some stretching with the lights on. Then I turned it off when a few seconds past, I saw a lone firefly from my window on the third floor of the house. What a delight to gaze again at this blinking creature, even ephemerally as it moves eastward and away from my window. I was whispering to the firefly to come near my window so I can behold him more. But the firefly went out of my sight. A few seconds after, another one graced the morning darkness again, me thinking it was the same firefly I cajoled to come near. I thought of my mother. Then from the west side, another firefly flapped its luminosity. I thought of my father. As if simply greeting me, almost in a dreamlike manner, they slowly disappeared from my sight. The following dawn, there was no trace at all of this gentle creature. They are that rare these days even in that tree-populated place that lullabied us into silent beholding.

Then I spent some time over an assigned lines from Caryll Houselander:

“As you keep watch this Advent, be mindful of the Holy One within who keeps vigil over you, even listening to your heart.”

It never capped my mind more so during Advent that the Holy is the One waiting, perhaps lighting the Advent candles before I lit those. The Holy waiting for the right opportunity when I am ready, for that moment of healing, for me to let go of something that distracts me from growing in beholding. Then I read Mike Riddell and his poem “Invitation to the Feast” and glimpsed that the waiting of the Holy fore and aft Advent is primally Eucharistic. The poem refreshes my almost yearend tiredness, the frustrations over making many attempts to be as discerning as well as pliant as possible to a Presence as gentle and often wordless as the fleeting flap of the fireflies.

“Come, all you who thirst,
all you who hunger for the bread of life,
all you whose souls cry out for healing,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all who are weary,
all who are bowed down with worry,
all you who ache with the tiredness of living,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you poor,
all you who are without food or refuge,
all you who go hungry in a fat land,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are bitter,
all you whose hopes have tarnished into cynicism,
all you who feel betrayed and cannot forgive,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who grieve,
all you who suffer loss as a fresh knife wound,
all you who curse the God you love,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are sinners,
all you who have sold the gift that is within you,
all you who toss uneasily in your bed at night,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are oppressed,
all you who have forgotten the meaning of freedom,
all you whose cries cut to the very heart of God,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are traitors,
all you who use your wealth and power to crucify God,
all you who cannot help yourselves,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are sick,
all you whose bodies and minds have failed you,
all you who long above all for healing,
Come, come to the feast of life.

Come, all you who are lost,
all you who search for meaning but cannot find it,
all you who have no place of belonging,
Come, come to the feast of life.

The table of Jesus is your place of gathering,
here you are welcomed, wanted, loved,
here there is a place set for you,
Come, come to the feast of life.”

Mike Riddell “Bread and Wine, Beer and Pies,” Mass Culture: The Interface of Eucharist and Mission, Pete Ward, ed. (The Bible Reading Fellowship: Abingdon, OX, 2008, pp. 130-32).

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